15 answers

Suggestions for an Infant Formula That Tastes like Breastmilk

Hi Everyone!

I have a 6 mo old daughter, and I will be going back to work soon. I will be pumping at work, but I want to supplement her with some formula during the day b/c my breastmilk doesn't seem to keep good very long in the fridge or freezer, so I can't really stock up. I tasted some of the brands that came free in the mail, and they have a real heavy iron taste or something! I thought maybe it was just me, but my little girl spit it out when I tried to give it to her. It really tastes SO different than breast milk.

Do you know of any brands that don't have a real strong taste? Have you had success with gong from breast milk to formula?

Thanks so much!,


1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Hi Everyone!

Thank you so much for your quick response! To answer the question about if my milk is really going bad, well, I hope this isn't gross, but I have tasted my milk when it is fresh, and it tastes like plain sugar water, but after a day in the fridge, it tastes a little spoiled. I wouldn't want to drink it, and my daughter makes a sour face. Unless babies have muted taste buds, I would think if it tastes bad to me, then it tastes bad to her. What do you think? Also, I put the frozen BM on the freezer door. When I thaw it out under hot water, it tastes also the same way except a little worse. I guess a bit metallic tasting plus a little sour. Again, I wouldn't drink it.

Also, she still eats about every 3 hours, sometimes more often when she wants to sleep and is cranky. (She demands the breast every 3 hours in the night too...maybe this is just for comfort...??). When I pump, I get about 4.5 oz total in the morning and about 3 oz in the day. Maybe I am not getting enough at one time, so she wants to feed frequently. She is gaining weight fine, but again I feed her very frequently.

I plan to pump at work and still BF when I get home, and then I guess she can have mostly formula during the day ( and any fresh BM that I pumped in the morning). Does this sound feasible?

You are all so awesome! This is my first time ever posting a question and I am sooo happy to have other mothers to give me advice.

Thanks again,

L. S.

Featured Answers

I went through 8 formulas before my son would accept any after breastfeeding for 9 months. The only one he liked was Infamil AR. They say breast milk is like drinking a milkshake and so hard to compare ;) Good luck. I know how fustrating it can be.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Hi L.,

I had the same problem. It is a harmless excess of the enzyme lipase. Here is the link that should address the issues. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/lipase-expressedmilk.html

May not be easy to do at work but maybe you could pump after the morning feed before work. I applaud your interest to continue breastfeeding while going back to work! A La Leche leader could also help give you some suggestions and ways to make it work.


2 moms found this helpful

Your breast milk is not going bad. It can last for quite a while 3-5 days in the fridge and 3-6 months in the freezer. My son was a preemie and never breastfed - he got everything from a bottle and I pumped for him even after going back to work. I froze tons of breast milk and even after I decided to wean him from the breast milk I still had a ton in my freezer to feed him for quite a while after I stopped pumping. If you are stopping for personal reasons that is fine but don't stop just because you are going back to work and you think it will go bad. You can still pump and save it all. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Congrats!! I have 2 girls.. I did breastfeed for 6 months with first child. I breastfed for 2 months for second child and now I just pump. I give my child stored milk from freezer and she loves it. I place frozen container in steaming hot water like a tall tupperware and let it sit until it is defrosted. I make sure it is warm and place it in bottle. My babies love it. I use the advent plastic small containers. They come already sterilized and wrapped appropriately 30 pack. I think. They stack on top of each other. I try to give breast milk during day and formula at night. So, she will sleep thru the night and it works. Same w/ my first girl. The more I pump the more milk i supply. I do store the milk in freezer. It can be in freezer up to 5 months as per my pediatrician as well as my Lactation consultant. Also, I do supplement. I use Similac Advanced the powder. It is normal for your child to spit up she has to get use to it. Also, I use Diapers.com to have it delivered to the house since u will be working. Easier..that way. I hope this helped u. Also, As an adult I wouldn't even try to taste the formula. So don't go by that.
Breast milk forget it u can't compare it with anything.. this is how i feel. I hope this helped.. I just had a second girl 3 months old. She is enjoying both breast milk of course and the formula.
Barb G.

1 mom found this helpful

I went through 8 formulas before my son would accept any after breastfeeding for 9 months. The only one he liked was Infamil AR. They say breast milk is like drinking a milkshake and so hard to compare ;) Good luck. I know how fustrating it can be.

1 mom found this helpful

I just want to say that working and breast feeding is a very hard thing and I am full of support and encouragement for you. I work full time and nurse my 5 month old with pumping at work. I have found that no matter how good I am or how hard I try, even with being able to store my milk, sometimes I just can't pump enough at work and need to supplement. So I share in your formula dilemma. I think like others have said nothing with taste like breast-milk. It's like if you can't or won't drink cows milk, rice or soy milk are a good substitute but will never taste the same. Like others have said if your breast milk separates it does not mean it has gone bad. The cream always rises to the top. I run my bottles under warm water to warm the cream a bit and then shake it back together before I give it to my daughter. So this is an option for you if you choose it. If it really is going bad perhaps you want to take a look at how cold your fridge is because it should not go bad over just a couple days. Best of luck to you!

I also went to work my daughter was six months and had to start giving her formula. I started by mixing the formula with my breast milk. I found this made for a smooth transition.

L., I'm sorry but formulas dont' taste like breastmilk. Despite their claims that they are getting closer to breastmilk all the time, they're not. She'll either get used to the taste or she won't.
Why does your milk not "keep"? If it gets that metallic smell from the freezer, that's totally normal! There's no reason to assume that you'll need to feed her formula when you're at work if you are able to pump.
good luck

My kids switched to Carnation Good Start and seemed happy on it. I mixed it with breast milk at first. I know they have changed formulas since then, but you could give it a try. Good Luck!!

Hello L. -

I breastfed 2 of my boys & formula fed 1 (for medical reasons) so I truly can speak from both sides of the spectrum. I do not know of any formulas that taste mild & sweet like breast milk, sorry! Formula, though it has come a long way, is wonderful but tastes awful!!! LOL

Why won't your breast milk hold up in the fridge?!?! Try to buy different storage containers :) I used the Similac containers by Ross Laboratories & they were fabulous!!! I beleive they are a Hosital Only product though :(

Does anyone know of a good storage container to recommend?

If you think your breastmilk has gone bad because it separates, that is not the case, that is perfectly normal. Just shake it up before serving.
There's no reason why your breastmilk would be going bad in the fridge or freezer.
Good for you for pumping at work. It can be hard, but I was very glad that I did.
Best of luck!

I never actually tried any of the formulas, but when I had to start supplementing my daughter wasn't too happy with the formula, so we gradually introduced it to her by putting 1 oz formula with 5 oz BM, and did that for a few days (maybe a week) and then we upped it to 2 oz formula and 4 oz BM and then went to 3/3.
Hope this helps!


Congratulations on breastfeeding your little girl!

Formula will not fill in the blanks. You will produce less milk as she eats more formula.

Turn down the temperature in your fridge and freezer. Your milk will keep longer.

Good luck!

Why do you think your breastmilk goes bad in the fridge? Does it develop a slight metallic smell? That is very common because some women's milk has some extra enzymes that make that smell. It doesn't mean that it's gone bad. Also, babies on breastmilk will still drink it. You'll have a much harder time getting your breastmilk baby to accept formula, which is vastly different in taste. Breastmilk stays good in the fridge for several days (it has LOTS of live antibodies which keep it from spoiling for several days vs. none in formula which is why formula spoils quickly). But if you aren't going to use your milk immediately, it's best to freeze it in breastmilk bags (being sure to squeeze out the extra air) and defrost it in a hot water bath straight from the tap (don't microwave or boil in order to preserve all those great antibodies) immediately before serving it. I used Medela containers and Medela freezer bags (and sometimes Lansinoh bags).

My lactation consultant recommended Earth's Best (available at whole foods, and probably various other places). We tried it and it seemed MUCH better than most other formulas. Still not like breastmilk, but much closer, and at least it didn't smell bad like most. Fortunately, I got my milk supply up, and we only had to use it for a few months, but I was glad we had something that seemed much nicer smelling and tasting than the standard brands.

LOL, I am responding to your "what happened":

I too breast fed both of mine as long as my body could with working (just over 5 months with my second) and had some frozen breastmilk that I would mix with formula/cereal, etc. However, one day I absentmindedly stirred the cereal and put the spoon in my mouth and YUCK! It tasted horrible. It was a mix of dinner foods and slightly sour tasting. I know it wasn't bad because I would put them in the fridge to cool, then right to the freezer after pumping. It was right then I decided to dump the pumped milk and go right with just formula.

I didn't read your other responses, but I don't think there is a formula that tastes like BM because it takes on the taste of the foods you eat to acclimate them to different flavors.

Soy formula tastes much different though than regular formula.

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